17 Nov

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Well, we’ve had another fantastic week here at New Bridge, packed with learning and extra-curricular activities. On Monday Mrs Holland’s Pathways English group held a coffee morning in aid of Help for Heroes. The class have been researching the Invictus Games and wanted to do something positive for wounded soldiers. They sent out invitations to staff, made and sold cakes and offered a selection of drinks in return for a donation – the event was a great success!

Key Stage 5 Activ8 are continuing to promote Andy’s Man Club and its message #itsokaytotalk to promote mental health and prevent the terrible statistics of suicide being the biggest killer of men by offering opportunities to talk. Mr Greenway set up a special New Bridge branch of the club for our students aged 16+ at Medtia Square and has since established Oldham’s own Andy’s Man Club which is open to anyone and meets at Oldham Leisure Centre every Monday at 7pm.

In Living Skills today Activ8 Key Stage 4 were discussing Movember (Mr Greenway had to explain this excuse for a moustache on his top lip somehow…) For those of you unaware, the Movember Foundation is a charity that specialises in promoting awareness of men’s health, especially testicular cancer, prostate cancer and lowering male suicide rates. Men are usually sponsored for growing a ‘tache (or attempting to, in Mr Greenway’s case!) There is also a part of Movember called Move where people set a movement target for the month. Activ8 have decided to rise to this challenge in their gym sessions and the group are all going to do a ‘mini triathlon’ where they each will run 1K, cycle 1K and row 1K in the gym over the next few weeks. If any parents are interested in contributing, we are asking for a maximum donation of £5 towards this but we would be very happy to receive any amount below this. We’ve set a maximum donation in the hope that more of you will be able to donate at least a pound to the charity. Please pass any donations in a sealed envelope to a member of the Activ8 staff (Mr Lawrence or Mr Greenway).

On Wednesday our boys football players went to MCFC’s training ground at the Etihad and took part in the latest round of the One City Football League competition. They won some, drew some but lost none! The group were fortunate enough to see some MCFC footballers training with Pep Guardilola! Mr Lawrence was very impressed with the group’s impeccable behaviour – we will have a full report on the day for you soon!

Live Music Now arranged for a group of professional folk musicians to come into school on Wednesday and work with our children in the Autism Base and the Interactive Base. Our children had a wonderful time enjoying two immersive musical experiences and were able to participate closely with the musicians and instruments as the pupils were an integral part of the concert.

On Wednesday the Learning Centre hosted another Parents Group meeting. It was attended by six parents who really enjoyed the opportunity to sit over a cup of tea or coffee and have a chat about a range of issues and experiences. We can’t divulge more as ‘What’s said in the group, stays in the group’ but suffice to say, the parents found it very beneficial and in some ways cathartic being able to talk over common things to people who ‘get it.’

Mrs Lane will be addressing the group on Wednesday 29th November from 2:30pm when she will be talking about the transition to adult services as well as individualised budgets and respite. We strongly recommend parents and carers attend as it will be a very informative session. Parents can then, if they wish, move on to the parents’ evening at the Learning Centre which is taking place from 4 till 7pm on the same day. We hope you will be able to join us!

The next Parents Group will take place at the Learning Centre on Wednesday 10th January at 2pm and on Wednesday 24th January Mrs Velti, a local solicitor, will be coming to talk to the group about wills, trust funds, power of attorney and other legal matters pertinent to our families.

Our curriculum focus this week is on our Autism and E Base classes..

During their work skills sessions, the students in EBase1 have been learning a range of skills which allow them to work effectively within groups and independently. They have done this through a range of jobs which help them to gain essential skills to function appropriately in employment and in life. Courtney has been helping Jean undertake a range of administration jobs, from sorting out the dinner tickets to attaching badges to the new lanyards..


Malcolm has been collecting the First Aid boxes from each class and the students have been refilling them on a fortnightly basis..

Oliver, Zachariah and Usayd also set the tables in the dining room ready for the students’ dinners..

This week AB3 have observed ‘International Kindness Day’..

We have watched a video around how to be a good friend and what qualities we can offer in order to be a good friend to others. We then completed some work on what is a kind or unkind action and talked about how these actions can make us feel. All of the pupils worked really hard and next week we will be completing a group activity to make our AB3 class display about friendship and kindness..

AB1 have been using the story of The Gruffalo in their learning, as demonstrated by Adam who has been using 1:1 support to explore the story..

..and follow the story with support..

Adam has used ICT to complete jigsaws of the characters from the Gruffalo..

..and used a range of tools to create different textures when painting the characters..

Adam can also show interest in choosing books for himself without support..

The pupils have been having a lot of fun with Music..

..in PE..

..and putting their Living Skills into practice..

As you are no doubt aware, Children in Need was celebrated at New Bridge on Friday. At the school site year assemblies were held, non-uniform was worn with pupils and staff making a £1 donation and a delicious selection of cakes were made by Miss Silvester’s communication group who managed to raise an extremely impressive total of £100.35!!! You can see a few of the pictures below but please click here to see more and to find out about what Miss Warner’s class got up to for Children in Need!

Staff and students at the Learning Centre entered into the spirit of the occasion with equal enthusiasm and lots of staff and students dressed up as you can see..

Our E Base students had a great time getting involved..

Three of our students successfully completed a ‘Hand in your phone for the day’ challenge and 15 students managed to complete a sponsored silence with remarkable success!!! Will had a slight variation on this and did a sponsored day with impeccable language! Students also worked hard making cakes that were sold throughout the day..

The final totals are being calculated with some students taking their sponsorship forms home to collect more money – we’ll let you know the final amount raised next week. Well done everyone!!

The Learning Centre Student Council have agreed to support both ‘Children in Need’ and ‘Comic Relief’ and we also discussed raising money for the Learning Centre. This will include our own Christmas Market which if you’ll recall was a great success last year. Exciting plans are already well underway, we will tell you more soon!

The Student Council also discussed supporting causes nearer to home within our local community and we agreed that this Christmas we will helping Oldham Family Refuge, part of the national ‘Touchstone’ organisation. Mrs Barbara Dignan will be coming to a Learning Centre assembly to talk to students about her work collecting gifts for children and young people who may otherwise receive nothing and who may have left home quickly without the chance to bring anything with them, especially presents!. The charity would appreciate any gifts for all ages, from babies to 16 year olds, and all donations will go to families in crisis in Oldham. When you are out Christmas shopping, if you could buy an extra, small gift (crayons, a colouring book, toy, book, game, makeup, toiletries, gloves, baseball caps etc.) our EBase students will be taking the lead in parcelling and labelling. All donations of gifts (and any spare wrapping paper!) would be greatly appreciated and help families feel someone is thinking and caring about them over the festive period. Please send any donations or wrapping paper to reception at the Learning Centre – thank you for your support and generosity.

Have a lovely peaceful weekend,

Judith and Dawn

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

You can find our full blog here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham